Some days are better than others, and today is one of those days. We’ve steadily plodded along each day since visiting Oikos, relaxedly and consistently completing assignments in a set amount of time or leaving them until the next day. With the new approach of NOT drawing out work until it’s done, but doing what can be done in a set amount of time then moving on, we’re all learning better time management, Yours Truly included. A huge bonus is that we’re getting through the “school” part of the day in a lot less time, making it a lot more fun for all of us. But an unexpected bonus is that the girls are finishing their work faster. They feel a sense of achievement and are really enjoying home education more than ever, which is great considering the fact that they’re actually fitting in more than when we were sticking at it until we finished a thing.

I feel a lot more relaxed about home education and work in general, since I have more time for both, and my time management has improved (and continues to do so). Having staff helps, too.

Today we reaped a new fruit of our new approach: a love of Maths in DD#1. (On a side note, I think I need better nicknames for the girls. On a blog I read recently, the author called her daughters Sunshine and Sweetness, which I loved. Suggestions welcome.) Anyhoo, we have always battled with the maths side of “school”, with groans and tummy aches abounding. I started DD#1 on the Level 2 maths from MEP Maths, since I wanted to make sure the ground work was thoroughly laid. It has proven to be a wise move as there really were a lot of fundamentals missing. We’ve taken it slowly, not doing Maths every day, and not always completing a sheet in one sitting. Since we started taking our new, efficient approach, however, we have found that we do in fact finish a sheet at a sitting, and if we don’t, we don’t stress. Today we were working on sums, representing the answers in different ways. Eg: 40 + 50 = 90 | 90 = 50 + 40 etc. Suddenly a light went on behind DD#1’s eyes and she said, “so the = means that, for instance, 4+5 IS THE SAME AS 9?” – she gets it! Equals means IS. So DD#2 = cute. DD#1 = tomboy. Etc. She was so thrilled and raced through the rest of her worksheet – without mistakes! Clever girl. She even tackled a pretty tough question with aplomb, and without help, figuring out the rule before I did (and I had the answer sheet).

The lack of passion for Maths until today has been the combined result of a perceived lack of talent, and the fact that it takes long to do. Now that it is quick and she knows she’s good at it, she loves it again, just like she did as a little girl. I’m thrilled! And I feel that we’ve made a very significant breakthrough, one of the ones on my list of god reasons to home educate. Check.

4 thoughts on “Mathemagicians

  1. I hear you!! 🙂
    Our eldest really seemed to have missed the boat with maths and my husband being an engineer, would shake his head in amazement when she got stuck on 4 +1!
    But through trial and error, creative thinking and odd methods (and PRAYER!)… by joves I think she’s got it! 🙂
    Please continue your beautiful blog as it inspires me on my journey!
    Oh and if you have any more ‘mathmagician’ tips… I have listening ears!

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment, Ruth. How nice to hear from a fellow journeyer. What’s working best for us is NOT trying to fit a “whole lesson” into each day. We make sure we do SOME maths each day, whether it’s counting pocket money or dividing cookies or answering some questions on a worksheet. It’s low pressure and, as far as possible, FUN. Sometimes this isn’t easy. My early maths training was from my engineer dad, who was all about the discipline and perfection of maths, and got very angry if we got it wrong. Trying to be lighthearted and fun and relaxed is a learning curve for both of us. But it’s working!

      We’re using this curriculum for Maths, which is really great:

      But especially, prayer is the best solution, and when we get stuck sometimes we even stop the lesson and sit down and pray together. It helps a lot to calm nerves and focus little minds.

      Good luck!

  2. Oh that is so nice to hear that someone else stops the boat and gets off to pray 🙂
    I have found no greater disarmer of frustration and impatience, than immediate prayer!
    Thank you for replying and posting that link! I look forward to checking it out, as new ideas and resources are always great.
    We have been using an Australian book called Mental Maths Strategies. I reviewed it on my blog as it was the answer to getting Sunshine interested.
    My husband is learning to be really patient with her and I am sure his knowledge of maths will come in handy later when I get left behind 🙂
    Thanks again!

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